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Sine Qua Non’s story is a bit of a fairy tale with an “only in California” backdrop. It goes like this. Manfred Krank...Read more...
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Sine Qua Non’s story is a bit of a fairy tale with an “only in California” backdrop. It goes like this. Manfred Krankl (Austrian-born, like the state’s Governor), was a managing partner at one of Los Angeles’ most fashionable restaurants, La Campanile. The restaurant became famed for its wonderful bread to the extent that people would go there just to buy some bread to take home. hen people started asking where the house wine came from. The answer was: he made it himself. It was in fact in partnership with the Coppo brothers in Piedmont, a blend of Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon and Freisa. Everyone wanted some. It became clear to Manfred and his wife Elaine, whom he had met at La Campanile, that in winemaking they had found something they loved more than restaurant management. They retired from the restaurant and the weekend hobby became the day job, at which Manfred and Elaine directed all their obsessive perfectionism and turned it into the phenomenon it now is. Sine Qua Non have made a big name for themselves in an astonishingly short space of time (their first proper vintage was in 1992). A definition of their house style would have to include words like lush, intense, decadent, rich, and pure. Available in minuscule quantities, the wines are in many ways rather like Manfred himself, flamboyant, intense, and mad bordering on genius. “... has a palate enamelling 209g/l of residual sugar and yet a whopping 9.7g/l of acid and 10.5% alcohol. It is just pure, delicious nectar of the Gods.” Manfred Krankl. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate says of it, "This remarkable sweet white exhibits abundant aromas of orange marmalade, rose petals, honeysuckle, brown sugar, and spice. It looks like 10W40 motor oil, but its ample acidity provides uplift and vibrancy to its enormously endowed, sweet personality. Who knows how long it will last, but it definitely has 15-20 years of longevity, and it may surprise us all by living for 40-50 years."
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